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Rainbow: From Sky into Tree

By Bhushan Parimoo

It is a perfect story, often quoted, Baachaa Baagal Maaen Dooundeey Saareey Sehaar, (Child is in the arms searching him in the whole city).It went far beyond city with this writer better say search around the globe

Way back in 2010 on the social site of the Environment Awareness Forum a few flowering trees with many shades of hue and colours on road avenues drew attention. Quite a breath taking affair never saw such rich blooming trees in the state.

Adorable gift of nature beyond words called Lapacho locally a native tree in the South of Latin America. This name believed to be of Gaurani origin, meaning fragrant, a tribe of Paraguay bloom with flowers of various hues and colours like. It’s blossoms have a mild sweet honey smell, Elsewhere it is called jacaranda the word was described in A supplement to Chambers’s Cyclopædia, 1st ed., (1753) as “a name given by some authors to the tree the wood of which is the log-wood, used in dyeing and in medicine”.

Has not one but five different colours Blue, Yellow, two species, white pale purple and pink,. As such desired as anyone would like to why not to have it in our state. Pictures got deep imbedded since May 22, 2012 in the mind induces to have it here too after procuring the details from Asmuch Paraguay. Quite obliviously approached those who matter right from Forest Department and other sources after found its compatible with the soil and climate of the state .

Efforts drew blank due to lackadaisical approach of the authorities and society in general. Years passed by as it was both in the mind and heart but on single track made not to lose hope .And a silver lining appeared in the horizon of the hope against thick black clouds of insensitiveness of the authorities With a few years back Suresh Gupta, IFS, the Director JK Forest Research Institute and drew his attention to introduce it.. Before he could proceed baton was passed to B.M.Sharma IFS another son of the soil assured to have it examined.

His dedicated team conducted trials in the Sidhra Nursery under Rakesh Abrol then DFO in charge, with team spirits bore the fruit. Its seed needs hot summer to break its shell for seed to come out which requires proper treatment and immense patient, which team rendered without any fuss. Meanwhile coincidentally learnt, it is called Neel Mohar / Neelee Phulle here, blue jacaranda .

It is like Gulmohar known as Royal Poinciana or the peacock flower tree is a fast growing moderate size deciduous tree species native to Madagascar. Word Neelee Phulle helped to reveal that a couple of trees do exists on the right bank of Rambhir canal in Jammu city. Most probably planted by Late Kailash Nath Kaul, maternal Uncle of Smt Indra Gandhi, husband of Late Smt Sheela Kaul, a great Botanist, during his tenure as Director for Gardens, Parks and Floriculture in the state in 1969.

Why its propagation since 1969 was not carried, although we conduct regular Tree Talks on government expense involving corers, and vanish has become an enigma .May be all the activities Forest environment and Ecology carry awareness activities in the indoor environ,. Grateful to Señora Rosalia Orrego an upright well-read informative friend Human Activist belongs to the Gaurani Tribe of Paraguay the country rebuilt by women .Who exposed Environment Awareness associates from this subcontinent to South America, Which to most of us has been an incurious affair.

Devoid of any green pastures for the migrants to strike Dollars. Besides whole continent speak Spanish and Portuguese, English knowing are a few in between, here lies the impeder. Gutam Parimoo, Nephew has settled in Chile/Peru there for many years now but busy all the time in his own world. Jarcanda is as fascinating and alluring as the Hemisphere of the South America.

South America is a continent in the Western Hemisphere, mostly in the Southern Hemisphere, with a relatively small portion in the Northern Hemisphere. It may also be considered a subcontinent of the Americas, which is how it is viewed in the Spanish and Portuguese-speaking regions of the Americas. has very rich biodiversity, Amazon the longest river flows through it ,has richer rainforest on this planet , Vast and varied Geology history like Himalaya, Alps it has Andes, Atacama desert , Rich Heritage , Astronomy and Maya Civilisation .and many tales of Spanish suppression and struggle. South America has the second highest mountain range in the world, the driest desert on earth and the world’s biggest rainforest. It goes without saying, then, that it’s home to some astonishing geographical and climatological records.

Highest point: Aconcagua, Argentina At 22,841 ft above sea level, Aconcagua is the highest mountain outside of the Himalayas. Lowest point: Laguna del Carbon, Argentina Far less dramatic or picturesque than Aconcagua, the Laguna Del Carbon is nevertheless a record breaker: it’s 344 ft below sea level! Driest place: Atacama Desert, Chile The Atacama Desert is the driest place on the planet and although average annual precipitation is 0,6 inches per year, some Atacama weather stations have never recorded rain.

Evidence suggests that the Atacama may have received no significant rainfall for over 400 years between 1570 and 1971! The Atacama is so dry because it’s in a ‘double rain shadow’ – the Chilean Coastal Range to the West and the Andes to the East prevent just about all moisture from reaching this part of the world. Wettest place: Tutunendo, Colombia According to who you believe Tutunendo is the first, second or third wettest place in the world. Unfortunately meteorological records in both Colombia and India (the other country with towns which lay claim to this title) aren’t that great.

An unverified source claims that Tutunendo received a staggering 1,036.34” of rainfall in 1974 and its average annual precipitation is around 448.58”. Lapacho a deciduous tree named after the tree – Jacaranda Genus of 49 species of flowering in the family Bignoniace native to tropical and subtropical regions. The species are Shrubs to lager tree ranging in size from 20 to 30 m (66 to 98 ft) tall. The leaves are pinnate in most species, pinnate or simple in a few species.

The flowers are produced in conspicuous large panicles, each flower with a five-lobed blue to purple-blue corolla, pink, yellow; a few species have white flowers. The fruit is an oblong to oval flattened capsule containing numerous slender seeds. The genus differs from other genera in the Bignoniaceae in having a staminode that is longer than the stamens, tricolpate pollen and a chromosome number of 18. The genus is divided into two sections, sect. Monolobos and sect. Dilobos DC., based on the number of thecae on the anthers. Sect. Jacaranda has 18 species and is found primarily in western South America, Central America, Mexico, and the Caribbean. Sect. Dilobos, which is believed to be the primitive form, has 31 species and is found primarily in south eastern Brazil including the Paraná River valley. The anatomy of the wood in the two sections also differs. Although usually treated in sect. Jacaranda, J. Copaia differs somewhat from all other members of the genus, and may be intermediate between the two sections (Dos Santos & Miller 1997).

Thrive in tropical and warm temperate climates, but they can be grown in cooler areas which get light frosts, but they usually dont flower as well in these cooler zones, and they are also slower-growing, and smaller there. Like a sunny position and well-drained, fertile soil, plus regular summer watering. Mulching around the roots with organic material (e.g., compost, straw, bark, etc.) will help to retain soil moisture in summer, but only apply the mulch over moist ground, not over dry ground, otherwise the mulch might prevent rain reaching the soil. A thickness of no more than 50mm of mulch is recommended.

There are several conditions that require the lapachos to grow and flourish to the fullest, and are different according to their ability to adapt to the light, shadow and the various components of the environment. For example, soil, slope, topography and incidence of sunlight. It prefers warm temperatures and plant is very susceptible to frost. Young trees, even at a temperature of -3 ° C can die, but older tolerated lower temperatures, such as a snap to -8-10 ° C.

The plant likes a sunny location, well-drained sandy soils and is sensitive to strong winds. However tolerate drought well, although love often watering. Jacaranda is naturally propagated can also be propagated from grafting, cuttings and seeds, though plants grown from seeds take a long time to bloom seeds and cuttings grown from cuttings or that were grafted to seedling rootstock take from two to three years to bloom. Settle in for a longer wait, from seven to 14 years, if you started your jacaranda from seed.

A mature tree can reach a height of ten meters. The trunk of Jacaranda is covered with gray-brown bark that in young plants is smooth and later become scaly. Branches have zig zag shape and reddish-brown hue. Jacaranda leaves are large with a length of 45 cm and consist of multiple pinnate small leaves. The flowers of the Jacaranda form clusters that make the top young and flexible branches and hang under their weight. Sometimes the number of flowers in a cluster reaches ninety.

Are elongated, slightly curved and shaped somewhat resemble the colours of the Digitalis purpura. Usually flowering begins in late spring – early summer and lasts about two months. After flowering they form flat pods with the original form in which grow many seeds – feathers. When ripe, the pods become hard like wood The Guaranis and other indigenous groups of the region used wood to make utensils and various elements. In fact, in Brazil the tree is called Pau d’Arco, i.e. bow stick, because with its wood manufactured arrows.

In addition, the Indians took it infusion for treating various diseases such as malaria, anaemia, colitis, problems breathing, colds, cough, flu, fever, arthritis and rheumatism. Director Social Forestry Sh Suresh Gupta IFS and his team has assured to provide a pronounced thrust of this plant wherever feasible, hope other may follow the suit .Let us believe hoping against the hope.
(The author is a Jammu based environmentalist)